All Day, Talking
newly released from
Dancing Girl Press
Praise for All Day, Talking
"This gorgeous, delicate, and sometimes turbulent work exploring transformation is part of a larger examination of similar themes of transformation by today's leading Latino writers. Such works explore evolcing and revolving identity . . . I look forward to reading more of Chavez's work."
-- Review by Miguel M. Morales in Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, #42, 2015
"Chavez skillfully weaves the epistolary form into a conjuring of the dead. With grit and wit, she moves through memories like a loved one placing offerings, both lovingly and begrudgingly, on an altar for the Day of the Dead. In this series of irreverent laments, she unflinchingly explores how the distance of difference can cleave through love nearly as brutally as death. Chavez is a keen observer of intimacy and a poeta to be watched."
-- T. Jackie Cuevas, Chicana writer & Assistant Professor of Chican@/Latin@ Studies and Queer Theory @ UTSA
"It would be easy for this extended eulogy to get corny or lame, but it doesn’t. The fierceness of the speaker’s feelings for Carole are expressed beautifully" [read the rest here]
-- Review by Nate Logan, editor of Spooky Girlfriend Press
"A stunning, gritty, and beautifully irreverent collection of poems, All Day, Talking repeatedly and necessarily corrupts the conventional elegy. Chavez mourns Carole, yes, but she also mourns herself—and all of us, the tragedy of how we see (or don’t see) one another in our contradictory identities and bodies. If you want to know the honest truth about what it means to grieve and to survive, keep these poems close and listen to this “all day, talking,” which is both deeply personal and profoundly political."
—Stacey Waite, author of Butch Geography
"The epistolary creates a knowing. Sarah A. Chavez’s collection is a resistance against forgetting, a cariño of remembrance—these poems offer tribute to one’s departed and in that offer us the need to revisit our own worlds of loss, to consider our own narratives of letters to those we’ve lost. And as Chavez’s poems shift registers, from signifieds and signifiers, it is the register of simple everyday talk about pizzas and crosswalks and tip jars, which stirs my affection for the hunger inside of us that does not want to go easily into night. I read these poems over, for they speak solace along with the inconsolable, spelling the fleeting and small grandeurs which resonate even long after a loved one has journeyed beyond—"
—Joe Jiménez, author of The Possibilities of Mud
"The story of a friendship, All Day, Talking beautifully, arrestingly, charmingly portrays deep affection (without sentimentality), mourning (without getting maudlin), and devotion (without romanticizing). The poems explore memory and reminiscence with a mix of respect and skepticism, and Carole – who is at the heart of these elegies – becomes an everyday heroine. I love All Day, Talking for its warmth, humor and honesty, and admire it for its insights and wisdom."
– Timothy Schaffert, author of The Swan Gondola
"Sarah Chavez’s epistolary poems to a dead beloved, Carole, speak with a conversational familiarity, keeping company with the departed for as long as they can, remaining intimate with her by summoning her presence through memory and fantasy. They’re also bold and generous, giving us the chance to get a glimpse of the beautiful, imperfect world the narrator shared with Carole, to let her live among us, too.
All Day, Talking deftly maneuvers through profound sorrow, spikes of anger, and sardonic wit; one poem will delight you with its outright humor, while the next will remind you “it doesn’t matter how loud or late / into the night you call someone’s name, / if they are gone, they are gone.” These are brave poems, vulnerable and tough, that acknowledge the inadequacy of language in the face of death—“the noise that comes from the back / of my throat is just choking, as if a person / could even choke on absence”—and yet remain relentless, sending their missives into that absence, waiting to be heard."
--Jennifer Perrine, author of In The Human Zoo
All Day, Talking appears on Latinostories.com's 2016 Top Ten "New" Latino Authors to Watch (and Read)
Check out a sampling of poems from All Day, Talking on The Wardrobe's Best Dressed Book Feature (Sundress Publications), Febrauary 9-13, 2015